Philadelphia and San Diego are both a stumbling coming into this contest, playing poorly. For one team that will continue. Which will it be?
Philadelphia is excited for a change of venue after being swept by the best team in the National League, the Los Angeles Dodgers. For the Phillies, it could be a matter of “careful for what you wish” since they have lost five of six in San Diego. In all, Philly has dropped four straight and seen their lead over Atlanta crumble to 1.5 games in the NL East.
The Padres had gotten back over .500 but consecutive series setbacks to the Yankees (not bad) and at home to Miami (really bad), the Padres are going backward again.
The MLB odds for this opener have the Phillies as favorites at -140 with a total of Un7.5. Here is the expected pitching matchup.
Nola vs Lauer
The Phils Aaron Nola (4.18 ERA) has yet to taste defeat this season with a 6-0 record in a dozen starts. (Phillies 8-4) However, his record is not indicative of what kind of pitcher he’s been this season compared to last.
2019 – 4.18 ERA, .272 BAA, 1.48 WHIP
2019 – 2.37 ERA, .236 BAA, 1.17 WHIP
After a disastrous start, Nola’s ERA has come down steadily after peaking at 7.45 on April 7. Location has been the big issue early in the count, as he’s allowing a .388 batting average on his first and second pitches to any batter.
Eric Lauer (4-4. 4.45) has been lights out of late. The left-hander in three starts has won two (all Padres wins) with a 1.50 ERA, striking out 15 in 18 innings and allowing zero walks.
For the most part, both will be on their own as both bullpens rank in the lower third in ERA in the NL.
What Hitters Have To Step Up For Both Teams?
We finally had our first true Bryce Harper sighting of the season last week, as he batted .435, knocking in nine runs and going yard twice. However, that was not been enough as his club scored nine times in four straight defeats.
This means players like Jean Segura and Rhys Hoskins and those in the lower half of the batting order have to do more to help their team. The Phils are only 6-10 versus left-hand starters.
Since plating 19 times on May 25th, San Diego has only scored 21 times in their next seven contests, which obviously is not going to win them many games.
Eric Hosmer is doing his job with the stick, but good luck finding anyone else on even a fairly consistent basis. Manny Machado and Wil Meyers standout for non-production in particular for a team that is supposed to be on the rise.
Why the Phillies win: For MLB picks, I’m going to trust Nola and Phillies to take Game 1 in the series. Nola and the Phils are 22-7 vs. an NL team with a team batting average of .255 or worse and an even better 17-2 against opponents who strand 6.9 or fewer runners on base per game. It might not be easy, but Philly is the call here.
Doug Upstone wrote this for SportsBookReview.com.